Official: Explosion hits central Pakistani town


ISLAMABAD (AP) — A government official says several people have been killed or wounded in an explosion in the central Pakistani town of Dera Ghazi Khan.

Hasan Iqbal says the Tuesday blast ripped through a multistory building. He says the explosion was heard from a far distance.

It is the latest in a series of suicide and other explosions that have killed more than 500 people in Pakistan since October.

The bloodshed has been blamed on Islamist militants retaliating for an army offensive against the Taliban in the country’s northwest.

Dera Ghazi Khan is in Punjab province. Several hard-line religious schools operate in the area.

It also has experienced sectarian attacks pitting Sunni and Shiite Muslims against each other.